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Tony Bloom and His Wife’s Battle With Multiple Sclerosis

linda bloomTony Bloom is a trustee and co-founder of the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis (OMS) Foundation initially set up by his Australian born wife Linda in 2011. The two have been working with various other professionals, individuals and organizations to help raise awareness about the condition and to help those affected by it.

Linda Bloom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2002 when she was only 28 years old and halfway through her psychology masters course. She was in such an awful state that she could neither lift a pen nor get up from her seat. With the help of her sister, she discovered the work of Professor Jelinek which helped her manage her condition and nurse herself back to health.

As Linda Bloom herself stated in an interview: “Professor Jelinek’s work involves a self-help program providing tools to help people with MS take control of their own lives, to manage symptoms and empower themselves to heal. It’s based on the pioneering work of Professor Roy Swank, who started a very long-term research project in 1949, and so builds on over 40 years of research. It involves a plant-based, whole-food diet plus seafood, with very little saturated fat and supplemented by omega-3 oils, especially flaxseed oil – our results showed that flaxseed oil contributed to a 60% reduction in MS relapse rates. The program further recommends vitamin D3 supplementation depending on the availability of sunlight, stress management, exercise and meditation as required.”

The charity spreads information and awareness of such as well as helps patients make better informed decisions and choices for themselves and their condition.

Characterized by relapses with varying types, frequencies and degrees of symptoms, Multiple Sclerosis only affects 0.0357% of the entire population making it one of the rarest conditions in the medical field. Based on statistics, those diagnosed are often between the ages of 20 and 40 with more women than men and are more prevalent in colder regions.

The degenerative neurological disease affects the nervous system and disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between it and the body. Common symptoms include but are not limited to dizziness, fatigue, vision problems, balance issues, bladder problems, muscle stiffness, spasms, memory incapacity, speech difficulty, emotional instability, and numbness among others.

In a bid to raise awareness and funds for the cause, Tony Bloom ran the Brighton marathon twice, first during its inaugural run in 2011 and another one in 2015.

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Tony Bloom and Multiple Sclerosis

Linda BloomTony Bloom’s battle with Multiple Sclerosis has a personal note to it. The famed Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club chairman, investor and businessman is married to Australian born psychologist Linda to whom he has a seven year old son with.

About fifteen years ago, she was diagnosed with the condition and was said to be in such a bad state that she could not even lift a pen or stand up from the couch.

Multiple Sclerosis or MS is a type of degenerative neurological disease and an immune-mediated disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the central nervous system affecting and disrupting the flow of information within the brain and between the body. Specifically, the attack is done to the myelin or the insulating covers of the nerve cells. The damage affects the cells of the spinal cord, and the brain.

MS is a disabling condition and this is observed in many of its signs and symptoms. Patients are reported to have varying types and combinations of these which often portray themselves in relapses. These includes vision problems, dizziness, fatigue, urination difficulty, balancing issues, spasms, numbness, muscle stiffness, oral and speaking problems, memory deterioration, emotional instability and worse complete paralysis. The condition does not on its own kill but with its symptoms can bring about other health problems.

In the United Kingdom alone, Multiple Sclerosis affects about 100,000 people. In the global scale, only 0.0357% or 2.5 million individuals are affected by it making it one of the rarest diseases of its kind. According to statistics, more women are affected than men and patients fall between 20 to 40 years old.

The sad thing is, there is no known cause or cure for MS as of today. Several practices and medication are given but they cannot cure the patient. They merely act as temporary relief or to deter a relapse. More often than not, they are very expensive too and may have other health consequences particularly directed to the liver.

To help individuals suffering from the same condition, Linda, with the support of her husband, set up the OMS (Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis) Foundation. To raise funds of £100,000 as well as awareness for the cause, Tony Bloom ran the 2011 and 2015 Brighton Marathon which was 42.195 kilometers long. The said marathon takes place every April of every year and is held in the seaside town of Brighton in England.